Kind Strangers Kindness

It’s All Just Bar-Talk

| PA, USA | Kind Strangers

(I am a 22-year-old woman, so waiting tables at a diner/pub I get a fair number of guys who think they’re charming being pushy or creepy to me. On this day, a clearly drunk guy (at 11 am on a Sunday, classy) in his forties is drinking at the bar and is being particularly icky. Leering, commenting on my looks, “negging,” asking personal questions, trying to brush against me when I walk by, the works. Usually I can get a coworker to help me out in these situations but the only other person working the area doesn’t think it’s a problem. I bring a young couple their brunch a few tables away, dodging yet another comment from the guy at the bar. I am flustered because of him.)

Me: “Here you go, folks. Anything else you need?”

Female Customer: *politely* “Yeah, could we maybe get some forks?”

(Of course I should have brought them silverware but I forgot because of the guy at the bar.)

Me: “Of course, ma’am, I’m so sorry about that. Just one moment.”

(I go back to get them, which unfortunately means I have to pass by the guy at the bar twice in a row, leading him to comment that I’m trying to get close to him and him touching my back as I retreat back to the couple.)

Me: “Here you are. Again, I apologize.”

Female Customer: “That’s okay.” *quietly* “Are you okay?”

Me: “Pardon me, ma’am?”

Female Customer: “Are you okay? That guy seems kind of, uh, gross.”

Male Customer: “Yeah, he’s really relentless.”

Me: “Oh, it’s fine.”

Female Customer: *giving me a knowing look* “IS it?”

Me: *my professional veneer is starting to crack because they’re being so nice* “Well, no. He’s awful. But I can handle it.”

Male Customer: “Are you sure? I could come sit up at the bar to give you a buffer if you like? Or if your manager is here I could ask them to get the creep out of here?”

(I know from experience that the manager on duty would not handle this interaction well.)

Me: “That’s very kind of you, but I wouldn’t ask you to do that.”

Female Customer: “I think that maybe we would prefer to eat at the bar. What do you think, honey?”

Male Customer: “I’d like that too. Would you object to that, ma’am?”

Me: *glancing back over at the guy at the bar, who is leering again* “No, sir. I would not object.”

(They took their meals up and Male Customer (who was quite tall and imposing) sat next to the creep. Just them being there made the creep shut up, and he left soon after, sulking. They chatted to me for the rest of their meal, and when they left they tipped me 50%.)

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